Longer vs. Shorter Nursing Shifts

Are you ready to get your locum tenens nursing career underway? Before accepting your first job, understanding the differences between longer and shorter nursing shifts can help you determine which types of assignments are best suited for you. As you work with your locum tenens recruiter, you can review the assignment options available in terms of shifts and hours, and ultimately make the best decision for your work schedule and preferences.

Here’s a breakdown of both types of shifts, and what you can expect from each:  

Longer shifts

 With longer, more condensed shifts (typically 12 hours or more), you can develop stronger bonds with patients and their families, assisting in every aspect of their treatment and recovery process. Because you’ll play a greater role in the trajectory of patients’ care, it’s easier to build trust and open lines of communication, which can result in improved patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. On a personal note, longer shifts also mean you will have a shorter workweek, affording you more time to spend with family and friends on days off. This can be helpful for nursing professionals in need of a better work-life balance, as it provides more time during the week to recharge.  

Shorter shifts

Shorter shifts (typically 8 hours or less) can be appealing if you’re seeking a quicker workday with less burden and stress on the job. Because any nursing occupation can be physically and mentally draining, shorter shifts can significantly reduce feelings of burnout and stress at work, allowing for better patient engagement. For nurses who often feel overwhelmed working extended hours, opting for shorter shifts can improve career satisfaction and result in less fatigue and exhaustion while caring for patients.  

As highlighted above, there are pros to working both longer and shorter shifts. Depending on your perspective and career goals, there are locum tenens options offering both types of shifts.   

Ready to launch a locum tenens career?

Working with a reputable staffing firm is the first place to start! Learn how the recruiters at MPLT Healthcare can help you discover a multitude of locum tenens jobs across the U.S.